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Trip to London solo

Lubbock
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Trip to London solo

Hi,

I am a 22yr old female thinking about going to London on my own for a trip this spring. My family really does not want me to go by myself because they are so worried about my safety. Those of you who are Londoners and/or are travelers, what do you think? I really don't think it would be any different than here at home really but I would like to help put my family's mind at ease. I could easily travel through London for a week by myself safely right?

Thanks guys!!

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SF Bay Area
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1. Re: Trip to London solo

If you use common sense there is absolutely no reason to fear visiting London solo. I've done so many times and I am more concerned for my safety here at home than have ever been in London. It's an amazing city to explore. As soon as you leave you'll be planning your next trip!

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Trip to London solo

Miss B's family, hello and how are you? Has Miss B travelled on her own in the States? If so did she make the journeys safely and enjoy her visits to other cities?

If so (and even if not) then she should / will be well set for a week's stay in London. There are a handful of 'is it safe?' posts on the forum (use the search function and choose by date rather than relevance), many of which become squabbling matches after a page or two, but ultimately London is a safe city.

It's a fair bet that most visitors will have to make an effort to visit dodgy areas of London; most (99.999%) do not make that effort.

One piece of culture shock that's almost guaranteed is that you (Brandi) will have to use public transport, something that may be thin on the ground in your part of Texas. The good news is that there is a great deal of transport available, that it's not really expensive (a seven day Travelcard will be the business), and that using transport is easier to do than to describe.

tfl.gov.uk/assets/…standard-tube-map.pdf The area bounded by the Circle line (not including the lariat) is considered central London. There are a great many hotels in the centre, one or more of which will be suitable for Miss B.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Trip to London solo

Miss B,

Is there anything more specific to your situation or their fear? Because London generally is probably "safer" than Lubbock ...

Presumably it's the part where you will be alone?

In London you will be very unlikely to become the victim of a violent crime, especially gun-related, or of a terrorist act, or even of an automobile- related incident. (I was gping to say less likely than at home but it didnt seem polite)

People on this forum are very helpful with advice on travel to specific venues and the choice of hotels/hostels. You should be able to plan a trip that is safe and comfortable.

Illinois
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4. Re: Trip to London solo

I have travelled to London on my own several times. The first time was when I was 21 (a long time ago) but I have been back several times recently as well. I have never felt unsafe there, and that includes getting off the regular tourist trail.

If it makes your parents feel better, the first time I went was for 1.5 mos (plus 4.5 mos working in the UK but out of London) and that was before cell phones and wifi made keeping in touch so much easier. I had no problems with safety in that time.

Do post if your parents have specific concerns that we can address. Even now (much older than you) I have friends who worry that I travel alone (I'm in Berlin alone now), but they can never give me a specific reason.

London
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5. Re: Trip to London solo

Hi Brandi, BTGM s right if you can get your family to explain specifically what they are worried about you can gently allay their fears.

For example

Worried about you walking alone at night? Explain that central London is very busy & well lit and there are always lots of people around, nasty incidents are rare & seldom against touists. Promise them you'll be sensible where you stay, how much you drink and where you walk.

Worried about you getting lost or meeting someone unsuitable and leading you astray? Buy a good map and ask them to trust your judgement.

If it's just a more general, 'we don't like you being so far away and on your own if something goes wrong' then you can promise to keep in touch every day via Facebook or email if you wish, giving them an update of your day and experiences.

So yes you can definitely do London on your own and be quite safe!

Alta, Norway
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6. Re: Trip to London solo

Been going to London on my own since I was 19. Never felt unsafe.

Vigo, Spain
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7. Re: Trip to London solo

I've been going to London on my own since I was 19. I've never seen anything unusual in Central London and I've never felt unsafe. After many trips to London on my own my family stopped wondering if I'd be safe. If they are very worried just keep in touch regularly... Not a problem today with facebook, emails or even by phone (a little bit more expensive but a direct way).

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Trip to London solo

London is one of the safest cities in the world. You actually won't be alone. In central London, where you will be, there will hundreds of people out and about even into the wee hours of the morning. Lubbock is a safe city, at least it was when I was their in college (before you were born) but you should have no problem travelling alone to London.

When travelling overseas, you should register your travel with the US State Department: https://step.state.gov/step/ You should also carry your driver's license and a card (a folded index card works well) which has your itinerary, local address, home address and emergency contact info (family's phone numbers) in the event you are injured in an accident.

Edited: 09 September 2012, 12:28
Nijmegen...
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9. Re: Trip to London solo

I became an au pair near London when I was 21-22, used to trevel into town by myself or with friends and never felt unsafe. I did miss my parents but we phoned each week and wrote letters(95).

In 5 weeks I'll be on the 3rd solo trip to London in 1.5yrs and I love it. Nowadays I just email my traveldetails and where I'm staying, and I text or phone them to say that I've arrived safely.

London, England
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10. Re: Trip to London solo

The biggest risk to visitors in London seems to be looking the wrong way for traffic and stepping off the kerb into an oncoming bus. Usually a local will grab you just before you step (or hold an arm out) but it is safer to look both ways then look again. We drive on the left.

You can tell the tourist areas of London by whether the street has written on it "look right".

As for anything else, London is, as has been said, one of the safest large cities in the world and a great place to come solo because there is so much to see and do. As a solo traveller, you can pick exactly what you want to see and do from a huge variety with no need to bore or be bored by the choices of others.